This is your initial psychiatric evaluation.  We will spend 75 minutes together. In the first hour, we will discuss your reasons for seeking help, and in the last 15 minutes, we will make a reasonable plan of action.  

Common reasons for seeking out a psychiatric consultation include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • you notice a change in your mood, your nerves, your thinking, or your behavior, and you don’t know why
  • you have medically unexplained physical symptoms
  • you’ve received psychiatric medications from your primary care doctor but they don’t seem to be working or your symptoms are not fully resolved
  • you’ve been taking psychiatric medications but are unsure if they are necessary, if they are working for you, or are concerned about side effects
  • you’ve been seeing a counselor or therapist and they recommend you see a psychiatrist
  • you are concerned that your ways of coping with stress are harmful such as overeating, restricting food, binge shopping, using alcohol, or using pain pills or other drugs

Therapy is known as the “talking” treatment for changes in mood, anxiety, thinking, behavior, and issues related to relationships.  There are many different types of therapy, but the core feature in all types of therapy is the relationship between the therapist and the patient. We will take the time during 50 minute therapy sessions to delve deeper into the reasons that you are seeking help.  This will then give you the opportunity to make the necessary changes to feel better.

I provide video appointments through the computer for times when you are unable to come to an appointment in person such as when you are out of town, have a transportation problem, are caring for a sick child or other person at home, have a minor illness and are contagious, and for severe weather or dangerous driving conditions.  These appointments also last the same amount of time as the usual “in person” psychotherapy session and are billed at the same rate.

In some situations, medication is helpful to decrease the intensity of overwhelming emotions or to help you to think more clearly.  This will allow you to feel more in control and more motivated to handle any problems you may be having. Medication use can often help you so that you feel less overwhelmed and more able to engage in a meaningful way in therapy. Medication management appointments without psychotherapy last 30 minutes, and we will typically discuss if you are noticing a positive therapeutic effect as well as if you are experiencing any side effects. Then, we can decide whether to continue the medication at the same dose, increase the dose of medication, or switch to a different medication.  It is often the case that medication management occurs in conjunction with psychotherapy. If that is the case for you, we will talk about how the medication is affecting you as is necessary during your 50 minute psychotherapy session.

Though our work together is confidential, I believe, where appropriate, in collaborating with your family and other professionals. This typically leads to more efficient and accurate sharing of information and produces quicker change. As part of your treatment, we will discuss when and if this is appropriate. Your written permission is required before I may talk with anyone.

Some examples when coordination of care is necessary or might be helpful to you are:

  • when I am helping you with medication management and you are working with another therapist
  • to notify your primary care doctor and other specialists treating you regarding any medication concerns
  • if you are having educational difficulties caused by psychiatric symptoms and might benefit from learning accomodations
  • if you have a caretaker who would benefit from understanding how to help you